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December 08, 2005

More BOOK Stuff.

Three more bits about THE BOOK. An Englishman in New York, Up Your Ego both mention it (thanks guys!) and Troubled Diva makes a few good points.

Yes, yes, the typeface (which, thankfully, I’m not responsible for), perhaps there are too many political posts and this does strike home:

1. Since the political blogosphere is overwhelmingly male, it therefore follows that there are almost no female bloggers represented. I can't really accept any good excuses for this, as it's not as if female bloggers are any minority in terms of sheer numbers. A large proportion of my blogroll is female. A couple of weeks ago, 75% of the nominees for my Post Of The Week were female; this week, the percentage is again over 50%. So let me tell you, my inner Equal Opportunities rep is going mental right now. 

(Why, I've had to physically restrain myself from typing "What a disgracefully white heterosexual able-bodied male selection... totally sickening... typical of the patriarchal power imbalance at the heart of yadda yadda yadda...")

I have to admit that I’m so disgracefully white heterosexual able-bodied male selection biased that I did specifically seek out a couple of posts dealing with "gay" issues and didn’t even notice the number of women included until Natalie Bennett pointed it out in her review. Can’t get much more patriarchal than that now, can I, not simply ignoring the issue, or deciding to specifically not have a gender balance, but not even noting the issue at all?

Sorry folks.

Of the top of my head there’s Natalie Bennett herself, Natalie Solent, Green Fairy (goes and looks at index) Chunky Monkey,  It Comes in Pints,  and err, that’s about it for the distaff side.

So fair comment there.

On the political thing, I very deliberately did include some not from the pro-liberation left. Dean Men Left, Bloggerheads, Blairwatch, Stoppers and so on.

One plea in mitigation though. I had 6 weeks between the first discussions about the book and delivery of the first draft. So while I did indeed leaf through 5,000 blogs there was always going to be a preponderance of those I already knew.

Which is where the Britblog Roundup comes in.....clearly the book had at least part of its genesis in this Sunday afternoon roundup where people nominate their favourite blog pieces of the previous week. You can do so by simply emailing the URL to britblog AT gmail DOT com. If there is a 2006 version some of the research will come from there, naturally. But it would also be wonderful if more people would nominate posts, most especially from those areas of blogging that don’t normally get a look in. Yes, personal blogs, LGBT, women writers, different political persuasions and all.  The entire aim and purpose of it is to do precisely this, to get us reading out of our little groupthink bubbles.

Wanna help? Send in a nomination!

December 8, 2005 in The Blogger Himself | Permalink


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I'm kind-of-cross-posting from the troubled diva thread, because partly it's a comment triggered by the phrase 'women writers' you've used and I felt it was appropriate.

Isn't the lack of female contributions just an artifact of the selection of blogs that you as the editor reads and are aware of? A different book, by a different editor, would have a different selection of posts.

I dislike the idea of being pigeon-holed as a 'woman writer'. I don't think that categorising writing by the gender of the author is very helpful; it seems rather arbitary. Isn't it the subject and quality of the writing that's important, rather than which kind of bits one has?

I guess I'd rather be ignored than included in *anything* because I'm female and there's a quota of 'women' to meet, which to me is what the phrase implies.

Posted by: Ally | Dec 8, 2005 1:52:49 PM

See, the BritBlog thing kinda passed me by.. this book makes a little more sense now.

Bottom line (for me) is that this book may introduce new people to blogging and that's a good thing.


Posted by: Gordon | Dec 8, 2005 2:12:15 PM

Likewise the BritBlog thing is a new one on me. I think you might get a wider knowledge of it, and more submissions to it if it's easier to find.

You mention it in two comments on Troubled Diva, and again here, but not with a link. It took a fair bit of poking round your site (including a quick trip over to www.britblog.com) before I finally found it! Is a link to it really that hard? ;-)

Posted by: Adrian | Dec 8, 2005 2:42:51 PM

If it helps, the book re-introduced me to Green Fairy, who was one of the first bloggers I read (but entirely forgot about for a couple of years). So, score one for girl bloggers.

Posted by: sortapundit | Dec 8, 2005 3:17:24 PM

1) Oi. I plugged the book too.

2) In defence of Tim, possibly he wanted to include more lady bloggers, but perhaps some of them weren't willing or able, and he is now keeping mum under considerable fire to protect their reputations. Very chivalrous.

Posted by: auntymarianne | Dec 8, 2005 7:21:35 PM

Wholly agree with Ally's comment. It's not the gender of the blogger that matters or the percentage of women included/excluded. Just as I don't participate in "women artists" group exhibitions. Is the art/writing/blogging/thinking any good, that is the question. Never mind the gender, feel the quality.

Tim adds: Agreed.

At which point I’m aware that I’m not aware of those quality "female" blogs.

Enlighten me please?

Um, seriously? I want to be pointed to the good stuff.

Posted by: Natalie | Dec 8, 2005 7:53:41 PM

OK, here are my favourite UK and expat Brit Ladyblogs:



Posted by: mike | Dec 9, 2005 12:06:42 AM

I haven't read the book yet, but I'd hope there to be some culture element from UK literary, music, film blogs, not to strictly politics and current affairs.

Posted by: mike | Dec 9, 2005 2:17:54 AM

Well, there's me of course:


and to add to Mike's list:



Posted by: Natalie | Dec 9, 2005 1:01:13 PM